When Joan Dixon hen she is laid off from yet another soon-to-be-shuttered newspaper, she is left with few options. Closer to 40 than 30, single, living with her parents again, she goes to work as a junior copywriter at a Bloom, a Los Angeles startup where her bosses are all a decade younger. As Joan starts to poke beneath Bloom’s bright surface, she realizes that she may have accidentally stumbled onto the scoop of her lifetime.
Joan is stubborn, angry, self-deprecating and funny. Humor is a strength of the novel, and Joan’s first-person narration allows for lots of introspection, although it sometimes comes at the expense of the story and the development of the novel’s other characters. Joan’s co-workers fall in line with her investigative plan quickly, none of them giving more than a slight pushback, even though they stand to lose jobs and health insurance ... As I read The Nobodies, I thought of the HBO show Silicon Valley, for its funny, bumbling characters, and then Younger, whose main character connects with her 20-something publishing co-workers, and finally, The Inventor: Out for Blood, the documentary about the fraudulent tech startup Theranos. Combining elements from all of these narratives, The Nobodies is a fast-paced, contemporary novel with a main character who’s determined to get the real story and maybe find herself along the way.
Palmer takes the Gen X vs. millennials story to another level in this fun novel ... While some suspension of disbelief is needed, the point comes across that following your passion, regardless of the risks involved, isn’t always easy, but worth it in the end. A solid read for the new adult crowd, among others.
... endearing ... clever, fun-to-follow sleuthing that has the reader rooting for the merry band of outliers. A surprise denouement opens the door to a sequel while providing a satisfying explanation for all the shenanigans ... what gives The Nobodies depth is that over the course of the story, Joan and Thornton grow as individuals and come to terms with what they need to do to change their respective, and maybe joint, narratives ... Though Joan is the main protagonist, several characters are equally well-developed, including Thornton, Joan’s supportive family, and her quirky co-workers and friends. Palmer has managed to create a real world where the neurotic heroine is surrounded by a loving and lovable cast with whom readers will enjoy hanging out.